Recently really enjoyed taking part in the Sky Arts Portrait Artist of the Week on Instagram.
Portrait Artist of the Year set up the sessions free to all during lockdown, for which very many artists were both grateful and inspired.
Open access to some wonderfully interesting celebrity sitters who talked with a guest artist each Sunday, all via online meetings. I only wish I had picked up on it sooner!
Here are some of my efforts below. I am planning on going back and doing Will Young and Rob Rinder, you hardly ever get the chance to practice well known people because of copyright issues.
Well Done PAOTY, and thank you to the judges Kate Bryan, Kathleen Soriano and Tai Shan Scheirenberg and all the i
nspiring artists who took part! I hope you do it all again sometime!
The delightful Mary Beard
Foxgloves in the Orchard. Plein Air oil on panel 18cm x 24cm
Well, what can I say? What times we are living in.A bit of a serious post.
I have been shielding elderly relatives (who are quite scared and in one case just cannot comprehend what is happening) Whilst carrying on day to day life under the lockdown. It’s been a time to really take stock in a way I have not before of my life and my working practice. My garden has never looked better (and I am sure I am not the only one) and I manage to paint every single day.
This awful virus has affected my artist friends in different ways. Some have found themselves totally unable to create, completly derailed by the whole situation. Others have launched themselves head first in to a storm of creativity. Some, myself included, have found themselves oscilating between the two. Thankfully I have spent more of my time feeling inspired. And I must confess that the peace and quiet and as my husband put it, ‘a return to what it was like in the 70s’ suits me well, I had not really fully appreciated how frenetic modern life is, it kind of creeps up on you. The respite the planet has had from us humans shows in so many ways, and I pray that our governments take the opportunity to rebuild the World Economy in greener ways. My belief is that we should be far less consumerist, far less wasteful with our resources. We are encouraged to consume more and more to keep the economy bouyant, that is not sustainable, there has to come a breaking point in all that consumption.
Covid-19 has affected us all in so very many ways. I knew it would be quite bad, but I didn’t expect lives to be completely thrown upside down. Some people face such enormous difficulties both practical and emotional, that I can hardly imagine what it is like to be under lockdown with no job and poor prospects. So, I consider myself truly blessed to live in my little rural corner of West Wales. It has made me think a great deal about how I want to live my life going forward. Life is precious. The planet is precious, both should be looked after and cherished, enjoyed and shared.
If the virus has done anything positive at all it is to show us how we need to slow down, take stock and rebuild or economy in a far more sustainable way.It has also shown how many selfish people really don’t care so long as their own lives are not affected. There has been so much good spirit and community shown too though and this gives me hope that we do actually have a future, I am sure that Covid-19 is not the last challenge that we will face. So.. what will be our new ‘Normal’ ?
A new decade beckons and I along with many others get to wondering what the future has in store.
This time of year I often get a strong urge to make changes and I have spent the past week blitzing and repainting both the living room and kitchen. Why did I think that was a good idea? Can’t wait to get back to my easel now!
My website needs a similar ‘blitzing’ which I will be working on over the next couple of weeks. It seems a good time to start afresh, my trusty old computer finally croaked its last the week before Christmas, and I have been busy getting to grips with the new one, which I discover has the speed of Usain Bolt compared to the old one which I now realise was more like me trying to run..anywhere..
So onwards and hopefully upwards as we enter 2020, along with a great big Happy New Year to everybody who follows me on Social Media, have sent me kind words and likes and even bought or commissioned work from me. I thank you all, every tiny bit of encouragement means more than you can imagine to an artist. I am excited for what I am feeling is a new phase in my journey as a painter, and hoping we all experience some good old fashioned contentment and happiness in the coming twelve months. Peace, joy and blessings to you all.
‘Port’ 24cm x 30cm oil on panel
Can’t believe it is December already, it’s been an odd sort of year, and I have spent quite a bit of it soul searching about the direction I want my art to take. Feeling like I am at the edge of something new – perhaps it’s also an age thing! – I guess lots of artists hit this phase, a sort of plateau and confess I have at times been very down and distracted by it all to the point where I have been absent from the easel for days at a time… I have been thinking about what is important and what inspires me in my work. I have a strong urge to delve much deeper into portraiture in 2020 so watch this space!
I am finding I am spending much more time painting from life, maybe it’s all part of the search for confidence in my work, though I rarely post the results of such endeavours I am popping a couple of these efforts below. I have made a promise to myself to have more confidence share what excites and inspires me going forward. As the main breadwinner in the family it is difficult to allow oneself the luxury to be truly creative to allow yourself to develop and evolve, so you often end up subconsciously sticking with doing what you know works, perhaps there is a lack of confidence that you will be able to take your audience with you on your journey, but either way I have come to the conclusion that to both keep that work fresh and to continue to develop as a painter much more time must be made – somehow! – to work on art that feeds into my development as a painter. I am sure I am not alone in this dilemma.
Apple Blossom Time